Can Pugs Eyes Pop Out? What To Do To Prevent It?

The Pug is a popular pet dog for a family. Both appearance and characteristics align to give a perfect addition to any family. But can Pugs eyes pop out?

Technically, yes a Pugs eyes can pop out. Being a brachycephalic dog breed, this means this dog breed has shallow eye sockets, giving eye-popping accidents high chances of occurring. 

You might think we are talking about some horror movie with eyes popping out! But, in actual fact, it is just real life and a fact a prospective Pug owner must know about before getting a Pug puppy. 

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Why Do Pugs Eyes Pop Out?

Having big eyes makes a dog cute. But, for the Pug, it comes with challenges. And eyes popping out becomes a horrifying reality for Pug owners! But why exactly does this happen?

Well, a few reasons exist

  • One is their brachycephalic characteristic gives them shallow eye sockets.
  • Secondly, this breed is one that is prone to suffering from Ocular Proptosis.
  • Poor eye health is another valid reason for this happening.

What Is Ocular Proptosis? 

Ocular Proptosis is a medical condition usually prevalent in dog breeds that have large eyes. In this condition an eyeball can bulge from the eye socket, leaving the eyelid incapable of closing and the eye is left very vulnerable.

This means, his sight could be compromised!

It can even leave the eyeball dangling from the socket! In this case, immediate attention is a must to avoid any damage to the eye. 

Delaying medical attention can result in discomfort, pain, and even impairment or loss of vision. Making the wrong decisions can invite high medical costs and more care for your dog.  

Of course, this sounds very frightening. But, keep in mind not all Pugs might suffer from this condition. 

Other dogs that suffer from this eye condition are:

  • French Bulldogs
  • Shih Tzu
  • Chihuahuas
  • English Bulldogs
  • Pekingese

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What can lead to A Pugs Eye Pop Out? 

After reading about Ocular Proptosis and Pug eyes popping out, you are probably wondering how it happens. What could possibly cause such an odd and scary situation? Well, with the already shallow socket of the Pug, a few situations can dislodge the eye.

Causes for a Pugs eye to pop out include the following:

– Dog Fights

Getting into a fight with a larger dog or even dogs of the same size can cause the eye to pop out. This is because the Pug can begin to move frantically and this speed in addition to their socket depth leads to disaster. 

– Blunt Force Trauma 

People might not believe that even knocking into a kitchen cabinet hard enough can cause a Pug eye to pop out! Sadly it is true. Any type of hard force can cause dislodging of the eyeball. 

Other examples of blunt force are traumatic accidents like getting hit by a vehicle or getting hit in the head by an object. This makes it important for owners to watch and moderate how they play with their Pug. 

In fact, you will have to watch them carefully. Even in the house, a Pug can still injure himself easily in day-to-day activity. 

– Excessive Physical Restraint  

Another shocking way a Pugs eye could pop out is by using excessive physical restraint! Using the wrong type of collar can also initiate a risky situation for your Pugs eyes. 

This is why you will find many Pugs that wear a harness and not a traditional dog collar. Using this harness is safer since it does not apply any pressure to the head area. 

– Rough Handling

Handling a Pug anywhere near his face is risky due to his large eyes that already appear to bulge.

Holding his scruff, neck, or mouth roughly can prove to be problematic. If you use professional groomers, make a note of telling them to be gentle. Also, it is advisable to bathe your Pug where you can ascertain safe and gentle handling. 

– Eye Infections 

Eye infections when left without attention and medical care can cause a Pug’s eye to bulge, become red, or even pop out.

Tissue swelling and fluid accumulation in the socket can result from a serious eye infection if left unattended for too long. It can cause further pressure, pushing the eyeball further out of the socket. 

Eye infections are dangerous when you have a Pug with his trademark large eyes. They can be caused by microorganisms and even sticks, dirt, or smoke can introduce these organisms to the eye.

Apart from that, a Pug who scratches his eyes might hurt himself with his nails or introduce dirt to the eye.

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What To Do If Your Pugs Eyes Pop Out

For a first-time Pug owner, having your pugs eyes pop out can be traumatizing, to say the least!

But, that moment is not the best one to squirm and do nothing. Your dog’s sight could very well be in your hands, making the right decision is essential.

For this reason, every Pug owner should know what to expect and what to do in such scenarios. 

  1. First things first, DO NOT PANIC! This will only lead to chaos and bad decisions! 
  2. Call the vet immediately and explain what has happened. The vet should walk you through what to do, but if not continue to the next step.
  3. Can you push it back in? (if you have experienced a situation like this before, maybe you can push it back in-it depends on how far out the eye is) If not move on to secure the eye. 
  4. Cover the eye with a gauze that has been wet with saline solution. Make sure it is secure and will not come off. If it comes off, the eye could move further out of the socket. 
  5. Take your dog to the nearest vet clinic. Have someone hold him in place to stop him from injuring his eye further or removing the gauze. 
  6. If possible try to alert the vet you are coming and the situation at hand. You should be directed to an emergency room where the eye can be pushed back in.
  7. After the eye has been placed back into the socket securely, your vet may prescribe meds and ointment/eye drops.
  8. Make sure to keep up with the medication application schedule to ensure a full recovery for your beloved pet. Sometimes surgery is required.

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Cost of Ocular Proptosis Surgery 

Sometimes, the vet will not be able to just push the eye back into the socket. Unfortunately, surgery may become necessary and it will cost quite a bit.

This is fine if you have insurance for your pet. But, if you are financially struggling a bit, this surgery could prove to be costly. 

Because of the bulging eyes of the Pug, they encounter many eye issues throughout their lives. Here are a few Pug eye problems and the cost of their surgeries 

Ocular Proptosis surgery can cost between $1000 and $4000 depending on the severity. Other issues like Cataract surgery can cost as much as $4000! 

Given the high price of eye surgeries in Pugs, you might really want to try to avoid them. How is this possible? By making sure you clean your dog’s eyes properly and regularly. Yes, Pugs can be difficult to groom but eventually, they will get used to it.

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Preventing Your Pug’s Eye From Popping Out!

You cannot completely prevent a Pug’s eye from coming out due to a freak accident. But, you can prevent any infections and limit the chances of injuries that may lead to it happening. Follow them to help your Pug have a long and trauma-free life with both eyes intact. 

Steps To Prevent Your Pug’s Eye From Popping Out!

  1. Groom your Pug carefully and regularly to make sure loose hairs don’t find their way into your Pug’s eye. Also, his nails will grow fast so trim them constantly to assure he doesn’t scratch his eye accidentally. Wiping your Pug’s eyes is part of grooming and hygiene. 
  2. Maintain eye care and act rapidly when you suspect an eye infection is about to get very serious. If medication is prescribed, ensure that the dosage and timings are taken seriously and not abandoned prematurely. 
  3. Don’t use a tight collar, actually avoiding a collar altogether is better. A harness is a better option for a Pug. At least while walking your Pug, a harness will not exert pressure on the neck, and the skin on his face will not be pulled. 
  4. Take care of your dog to make sure that he is safe from other dogs and vehicles. Even around the house, try to Pug-proof the house. Avoid areas and situations that could result in injuries like slippery floors or hard cabinets. Use barrier walls if you need to restrict access to some rooms. 
  5. Knowing that rough handling could trigger eye issues, handle your Pug delicately. Do not engage in rough activities and play sessions that could possibly lead to pulling of his face skin. Games that make a Pug zealous and feisty are not advised as it could lead him to use his mouth and pull the skin around his eyes.
  6. Visit the vet regularly! A vet can easily pick up things that we as pet owners cannot. So, taking your Pug to the vet can stop an eye infection or catch it in time. Either way keeping up with regular visits can help to prevent your Pug’s eye from popping out.

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Can You Completely Prevent Eye-Popping? No! Take Insurance

Want to prevent yourself from ever witnessing a horrible scene involving a dangling eyeball? The above tips will do that and save you from an incredibly high vet bill! But, sometimes even while taking care of your pet, accidents do happen.

For this reason, you should consider taking out pet insurance. It will prepare you for any mishaps or emergencies that may arise during the course of his life. Better be safe than sorry!  

Adhering to these tips gives your Pug a high chance of living his life to the maximum, in good health. 

Does the Risk Of A Pug’s Eyes Pop Out Increase With Age?

There is no evidence pointing to increasing Ocular Proptosis chances as Pug ages. In fact, if the necessary care is taken, your dog will never have to suffer through such a terrible ordeal ever.

Looking after your dog includes cleaning discharge from the eyes, lubricating the eye, grooming away loose hair, and keeping nails clipped and blunt.

Watching your Pug during outdoor activities is crucial. While he plays his eye could easily be poked by something protruding like a stick. 

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Do all Pugs Eyes Pop out eventually?

No, all Pugs are not prone to this problem. Taking good care of your Pug’s eyes can help to prevent eye issues. But any serious accidents which are out of your control can cause the eye to pop out.
The best is to just be mindful of this problem and be prepared in case it happens. 

Why do Pug’s eyes go outward? 

Pugs have a high chance of their eyes going outward because their eye sockets are not as deep as most other dogs. This in combination with their large eyes is what sets the Pug up for several eye health issues.  


We admit Pugs are attractive dogs. While their large eyes act as a reason to get them as puppies, as they grow, their eyes become a major issue for owners to deal with.

Regular vet checkups and dedicated eye care can help to prevent eye infections. But, at any time an accident can change things and cause a traumatic experience for your Pug.